Monday, March 28, 2011

Honey, I think you need to straighten out the dead bird on your head...

Or so spoke my fearless companion the first morning I slept on my amazing, fantastical, super hip n' trendy new FEATHER EXTENSIONS!!!

So I first caught wind of this lil' trend via Birchbox's Facebook, and that same day was contacted by a girl who is set up to do these hair extensions... and that weekend attended the Makeup Show LA, where I saw TONS of them live and in person.

So what ARE they?  They're real feathers attached to your hair usually by a bead, and they can be washed, flat ironed, curled, whatever.  They come in all different lengths, widths, styles and colors, and can be worn alone or in a groupings.  Here are mine:

As "installed" by the fabulous Shelly of the Azalea Salon (949.248.3406 and  I have two bundles of about four feathers each clamped up in there, and I LOVE 'em!  And Shelly has been putting them in bangs and short hair and long hair and they're just so much fun... especially for spring and summer. :)

So there's a little something fun I'm loving this week.  The other thing I've been reaching for all week is my LUSH Lemony Flutter in an attempt to salvage my tragic-looking, raggedy-ass cuticles.  Who knew that a steady stream of hair and beauty products would be so rough on my grubby lil' paws?  Sigh.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

these are a few of my favorite greens...

I know I'm just under the wire here, but Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Your friendly neighborhood Goddess of Makeup and Hair is very much Irish, and even as I write this I have 4 lbs. of corned beef simmering away in the crock pot (my mom's recipe HERE: and amazing Irish car bomb cupcakes are in my fridge (from Smitten Kitchen - like every other delicious thing I'm obsessed with!  Any holiday that more or less revolves around food AND color is just peachy keen with me!

Which brings us to - GREEN!  While my day-to-day wardrobe still runs the thrilling gamut from black to gray to very dark denim on most days (some of us never recover from our gothy teens), I am never afraid to incorporate color into accessories and, naturally, makeup... and, well, 'tis the season and all that...

So here are a handful of my very favorite greens... in all their glory.

First of all, and perhaps my most glorious and beloved green shadow is the Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in Emerald 22.  Oh. MY. GAWD.  I know cream shadows make my greasy-lidded kinfolk shudder with visuals of hideous creasing, but these are fantastic!  I do apply mine over an eyeshadow base (either Urban Decay Primer Potion or the new NARS lid primer, depending on what's within reach), but with that little extra step, this baby lasts for me even in Vegas where I pretty much perspire more than I breathe. 

For the slightly gun-shy, I've got Wicked from NARS.  NARS shadows are one of the greatest gifts the cosmetic industry has ever received.  They are a smidge pricey, but worth every cent - full of perfect, delicious pigments, easily blendable, and long-wearing (again, I always use a shadow base).  I love to wear either one or t'other of these very soft, sheer springy greens in a wash over the whole lid with a swish of liquid liner (either green or otherwise) for a fun daytime look. (I'm having a hideous time getting this to photograph accurately - visit for a better swatch)

If you're on the hunt for high-quality greens that don't fall in the $20-30 range, I've got a doozy for ya.  These new lil' Wet n' Wild (yup, you heard me right) trios have been reformulated and I'm can totally run with the big boys in terms of pigment and quality... and will run ya a steep $4.  I was SHOCKED by how good they are!  PLUS... I Dream of Greenie?  How cute is that?!

I will say, my darling readers, if you do go cheapie, PUHLEEZ toss those craptacular little applicators that come with these products.  Seriously.  Every time someone uses a teeny sponge-tipped applicator a little piece of a makeup artist's soul dies.  I'm just letting you know.

Not to change the subject, but back to liquid liner... another of my desert island beauty products (I'll have to devote a whole blog post to extol the virtues of liquid liner)!  On that same monochromatic-clad day to day life of mine, I'm not wearing much in the way of makeup - but the one thing I can often manage that makes me feel a lil' bit fancy is liquid liner - often colored, and always winged.  These are two of my favorite green ones:

Another delightfully crapadoo picture... sorry, gang.

This is a MAC Superslick liquid liner in Treat Me Nice, a yummy forest green.  These MAC liners are felt-tipped markers, and they bring new meaning to the term "long wearing."  Like, I've heard of folks using olive oil to get these bad boys off.  I am able to get mine off in the shower with my regular face wash with just a smidge more effort than usual, but I've just gotta offer that warning.
The other is a Perfetto liner from Tokidoki (yay for adorable packaging) in Mostro.  This is also a felt-tipped marker type little guy in a very bright chartreusey green.  These need a little revving up on the back of your hand to get the color flowing, but they are very unique and easy to apply (and remove, thank you very much).

And I'll finish off with some nails. :)  This is BB Couture Frosty Meadow and Zoya Ivanka, both sparkly, wearing well, and gorgeously green!  I do love green nail polish (particularly on toes) most of all!

What are some of your favorite greens?  Is it a color you find wearable?  Let me hear about it!

Alright, folks - I hope everyone is in for a very healthy and Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Things I'm currently obsessing over...

... at least in the beauty realm of my life.

Numero uno is the Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish stickers.  Oh. My. Gawd.  I'm pretty sure I've spent over $100 on these since I discovered them about a month ago - and completely unnecessarily, because they last forever, AND because I have such tiny nubbins I can get two uses out of each box (just cut 'em right down the middle - use on toes, too!).

But I've been buying them up like mad.  Don't judge me.

They are incredibly easy to apply (I may be the Goddess of Makeup and Hair, but I am the Dumbass of Manis and Pedis and even I can manage them quickly and painlessly) and wear for weeks - seriously.  I used to get my nails Minx'd, which is the very pricey predecessor of this patterned nail sticker thing, and my hands never held up this well at five times the price. 

They come off with regular nail polish remover and retail for just under $10, but you can often find a coupon or use "bucks" from Rite Aid, CVS, or Walgreens.

I'm in love, fo' real.  And nothing makes my tiny little chewed-up child nails look chic quite like leopard print and houndstooth.

Obsession part deux is the Olay Pro-x Professional cleansing tool... which falls under the category of stuff I never knew I needed or wanted until I had it and now can't imagine life without.  And I want to put one in the hands of everybody I know - and not just because I feel like I am the only person on the planet who exfoliates her face with any regularity :).  This is a battery-operated, shower-safe little gadget with a very soft brush head that rotates at two varying speeds.  The best comparison I can make is the difference between brushing your teeth with a regular toothbrush versus an electric - you know how smooth and lovely your teeth feel?  This does that for your face, as well as allegedly prepping the skin to better receive moisturizer.  Whatever.  It makes my super-sensitive rosacea face feel super clean and very soft and smooth (without turning me redder), and I swear it has even done something to diminish the sea of blackheads on my nose that I can stare at for hours even though no one else claims to see them.  AMAZING.

I should note that I'm not using the cleanser that the Pro-X came with - it has little granules in it and makes my rosacea flare up just looking at it.  It should be fine for a more "normal" skin type, but I'm sticking to my old lady Dr Weil for Origins cleanser that I swear by, and it's still working just swell.

This retails for about $30 and can also be found at drugstores and Target.  What's with me and drugstore goodies this week?  Don't despair, I'll be back to my elitist product snobbing self soon enough. :)

Monday, January 31, 2011


I have a girlfriend (Hi, Alisha!) who I'm often out shopping with and her eyes will light up when we enter certain stores, "Oooooh! SAMPLES!!!"  And whenever I advise her of a new beauty product (as I am wont to do), she will reply very sagely, "Well, we'll have to go see if we can try some first!"  I tease her pretty mercilessly (as I am also wont to do), but really, who doesn't love a freebie?  If nothing else, those itty bitty baby tubes and pots make my product whorin' Grinch heart grow three sizes.
Enter Birchbox.
So Birchbox was first brought to my attention by my little sister (and a hi to Caroline!), and before she had the time to respond to my "what is it?" message, I had already Googled and signed up.  I was on pins and needles waiting for my adorable lil' pink box to arrive (oh yes, the outer wrappings are pink and the whole shebang is packaged beautifully!).

The contents of this, my debut Birchbox, are as follows:

Ahava Mud Hand Cream
Firelight Chai Tea
Blow Shampoo and Conditioner
Nars Makeup Primer
The Face Shop sheet mask in "I need to heal"

As I write this, I'm not quite slip-sliding around the keys with the dreamy delicious Ahava Mud hand cream on my grubby little paws.  I'm not much for hand cream, but this little tube could make a believer outta me... it's a thick cream, with a bit of a soapy fragrance that I'm not entirely in love with but can definitely stand.  It absorbs reasonably quickly and really does leave your skin (elbows, too!) soft and lovely.

Further Birchbox bonuses include their very user friendly site where you can purchase full-sized versions of the sample products (with free shipping!) and earn points from writing reviews and making purchases (100 loyalty points = $10 toward purchase).

So while the reviews on the contents of this first Birchbox are definitely mixed (thumbs down for me personally on the shampoo and conditioner), the service itself gets an A+, and I cannot WAIT for my next box!

To get your own, head to and check it out.  You'll be asked to answer a quick survey about your complexion and beauty habits (they try to tailor your box to your preferences) and then the mailman stalking begins!